Jaylen Brown, who is a VP with the NBPA, believes “it’s time for a larger conversation” now that Kyrie Irving continues to miss games beyond his minimum five-game suspension that was issued by the Brooklyn Nets following his decision to link to an antisemitic documentary.
Joe Tsai told a local reporter Irving “still has a lot of work to do” to get back onto the basketball court. Brown quote-tweeted the report and called it alarming for multiple reasons.
“He didn’t say that the organization was working together to get Kyrie back on the floor. He said that he had more work to do,” Brown said Monday night. “And our society has more work to do.”
“Including Joe Tsai,” Brown continued. “It’s 2022. It takes 10 minutes of time to see who these business owners, corporations, etc., who they’re associated with and who they’re doing business with, who they’re affiliated with.”
Nike founder Phil Knight said Irving “stepped out of line” by sharing the film on his social media channels.
Brown responded to Knight’s quote, tweeting: “Since when does Nike care about ethics?”
“I’m vice president of the union, and it’s part of my job to protect our players legally, Brown said Monday night. “And to see Phil Knight first come out and condemn Kyrie, and also see Joe Tsai say he has more work to do, I think it’s time for a larger conversation.”
Brown said Irving is in a gray area because he posted the link to the controversial film without any caption.
“I think it’s uncharted territory,” Brown said. “I think it’s no distinction between what somebody says vs. what somebody posts, and I guess that’s what they are trying to figure out. The terms that the Brooklyn Nets instituted for his return, I voiced my discomfort.
“It’s still an indefinite suspension, he’s already missed five or six games, so how many games is he going to continue to miss? Is it another situation going on there? Is it a larger situation going on there, is it a larger conversation that needs to be had? We’ve yet to find out.”
Brown suggested Irving might not be willing to apologize more than he already has.
“I’m not sure if [showing contrition] is something that Kyrie is looking to do,” Brown said. “I don’t think he meant any harm by posting it. Obviously, it came off as insensitive to a lot of people, but Adam [Silver] came out with a statement: He doesn’t believe Kyrie Irving is antisemitic,” Brown said. “Joe Tsai came out and said a statement that they don’t believe he is antisemitic. Those are their words, so he has already apologized formally through his IG post.
“But the comment that Joe Tsai made, which I feel like bothered a lot of people was like, ‘He has more work to do.’ Like, what does that mean? Our society has more work to do, including Joe Tsai. So I’m curious to know what that is, what that means.”